I suppose November 2nd is a little early to start complaining about the cold, but hey, it's cold! And I was lulled into complacency by our extra-long, signs-of-global-warming Indian summer. I just wasn't ready for hats and gloves. I think I've mentioned before that I hate winter?
Now that winter has arrived despite my protests, as it usually does, I've pulled out two Parfumerie Generale fragrance releases from earlier in the year: Cadjmere and Un Crime Exotique. Both of them were "too much" when I first tried them in warmer weather; today, they get their second chance.
Cadjmere starts out sharp and green, with a short-lived hint of something that smells vaguely industrial and toxic mingling with a bit of orange-y citrus (the notes: myrtle branch, sap, red tangerine, rosewood, Kenyan cypress resin, coconut milk, sandalwood bark, ambrette seed and vanilla). The dry down lives up to its claim of "exotic woody powdery"; there is lots of rosewood and cypress, rendered soft and cuddly, with hints of warm spice and a creamy sandalwood base. It is sweet but not terribly so — this is a comfort scent for those who take their comfort from the smell of wood, not food.
Cadjmere is nicely done, and highly wearable. Still, I don't generally like sweet powder, and the far dry down has a just a bit more of both elements than I care for. I'd wear it if somebody threw me a bottle, but it isn't something I'd buy.
Un Crime Exotique starts with cinnamon Red Hots*, nice and fiery (the notes: Chinese osmanthus, gingerbread, tea, cinnamon, star anise, mate absolute, vanilla sugar and sandalwood). The cinnamon gradually settles down, and we get the gingerbread, as promised, glazed with sugar, and a hot cup of tea on the side. In the summer Un Crime Exotique was overwhelmingly rich and creamy, in today's cool weather, it is beautifully warm and spicy, and strikes a nice balance between sweet and woody/resinous notes. The base is dusty-velvety, and in the cool weather, the overall effect is rather quiet and subdued.
It seems most appropriate for holiday wear, preferably wrapped in a fluffy bathrobe and sitting in someone else's farm kitchen sipping something warm and reading magazines while they do the baking. That makes it a very odd match with its name, but I won't hold that against it. This is a great comfort scent (and much more to my taste than Cadjmere), and while it is listed as a feminine fragrance, I should think anyone could wear it, male or female.
Parfumerie Generale Cadjmere is available in 50 or 100 ml Eau de Toilette. Un Crime Exotique is available in 50 ml Eau de Parfum. For buying information, see the listing for Parfumerie Generale under Perfume houses.
* For more cinnamon Red Hots, see Serge Lutens Rousse & Comme des Garçons Harissa.
The only thing that's good about winter is that I can pull out the winter scents, like the PG's
I would happily give up PG if it meant no cold, ever! I could still wear Matale, anyway
Hate dreary, bleak winters in the city! Add to that the biting wind and paddling in slush and you will hear me wail before it's even begun. I am yet to try C and UCE but what truly comforts me these days is Bois de Copaiba.
Chin up, R, at least *you* have something to look forward to in the next week or so.
R, I was pondering this, sorting my samples today (hee hee! getting organized!) I have been impressed by any number of the PGs, and the line is huge, as you know. I've raved over several. And yet. Here I sit, still not having fallen for a single one even enough to buy a decant. And it's not for lack of choice, that's for sure. Any theories? Have you really fallen for any of them?
BdC is interesting. I think it is too gourmand/sweet for me, though. PG really likes foody, doesn't he? At least it isn't all boring dessert foody, but still.
Aha — will be watching for that check from Publisher's Clearinghouse
Honestly, the one I love most is still Matale, which isn't the sort of scent most people would get excited about. That is the only one I'd call FBW for me. Un Crime Exotique is decant-worthy for me — this is what I'd like to wear on Xmas morning — and I'd wear Cedre Sandaraque, Aomassai, Musc Maori, Querelle all in decants if I had them. But I haven't actually bought decants of any of those, so I guess I never totally fell head over heels for any of them.
But I'm not as wild over over the line as some people are. I do think he does interesting scents that aren't “like everything else”, but at the same time, aren't so esoteric that they're unwearable. And if you like sweet & foody more than I do, the line has tons of possibilities.
Long way of saying maybe we're in about the same boat, LOL…
I normally can't deal with powder at all, but Cadjmere is strangely wonderful on my skin. I wasn't sure when I first sprayed it on, but the longer it sat it just got warmer and fuzzier all the time. It speaks to me of wool and seasoned wood and spice, with a hint of coconut.
I'm beginning to think that PG is out to get me – I love so many of their scents. Danger, danger!
I'm afraid I find all the PGs terribly sweet. May I join you both in your boat? UCE smelled like that oil you put in rings around your lightbulbs at Christmas time – very pretty, but I don't think comparing it to something I'd be able to stand three days a year is a ringing endorsement. The thing I like best is the drydown of Aomassai (sp?) but the first ten minutes makes me feel like I'm suffering from a whole-jar-of-ice-cream-carmel-topping bellyache.
The people who love it really seem to love it — it has earned some serious raves on MakeupAlley. And they did do a lovely job of evoking something like cashmere. I'll just keep my Crime Exotique
Un Crime Exotique sounds delicious – cinnamon and gingerbread, yum! I must find a sample. I'm just warming up to gourmands after ignoring them for a long time. Rahat Loukoum has been my favorite so far.
The only other PG I've tried is Brulure de Rose, which turned very sugary on me.
Aomassai & Cedre Sandaraque both do that — after an hour or so, they're really perfect. But up until then, they're not only sweet but they're *dense*. They overwhelm me.
UCE is one of many “holiday home fragrance” scents I love, LOL — another would be i Profumi di Firenze Spezie de Medici, which by all rights ought not to be a personal fragrance at all.
Ah, Rahat is great stuff!
BdR I did not care for, but to be honest I can't remember why.
I agree with you about the gourmand/foody thing this line has got going. UCE, which I thought I would adore, is not pleasant at all on my skin; I don't get gingerbread and spices but a kind of greasy, thin honey. Cadjmere is one where I hover between loving it and wanting to rush off to order a bottle, and finding it just too sweet and sickening. It has a note that I think of as 'furniture polish', and have a secret furtive weakness for… I am nearly finished 50ml of Aomassai, which is simply awful for the first two minutes, and then divine. Musc Maori is a super-scrubber – I can't tell you how much I hate it, and Querelle is another one I sometimes think 'meh' about, and later 'this is really good'. A strange line, with all those mysteriously numbered scents that you can't select by name on the (almost unusable) website. Strange, but interesting.
Coincidentally I just recv'd my bottle of Cadjmere today. I love it and it works beautifully with my chemistry. I get a very herbaceous opening and then it morphs into something that I can't get enough of. It's sweet and woodsy and I can't quit smelling my wrist.
I haven't tried UCE so I can't comment of that one.
Have a marvelous weekend!
My favourites in this line have been the less sweet ones – Harmatan Noir (bought it), Bois Blond (bought it), Iris Taizo (didn't – there's something that creeps into that which puts me off).
I've not smelled any of the post second edition frags, other than Querelle (unwearable for me) and BdC (sugar overload – and that's from someone who absorbs sweetness and can dry out those Nez a Nez abominations – probably, though I've never had the guts or the inclination to try)
Once again, a prescient post: I was just this morning salivating over Cadjmere at the Lucky Scent site in my fall quest for Woods. Sounds a little too powdery and the candied tangerine and vanilla notes make me think CdG Kyoto or Palisander would be much safer bets…
As for Crime Exotique (more like 'Un Gateau Exotique'): if I'm ever in that kind of gourmand mood, I think I'd sooner whip up a batch of spice cookies or gingerbread.
How about Corp et Ames? Now *that* sounds good to me. That, Harmatan Noir, Querelle, and Bois Blond are the ones I'd be most eager to get samples of.
Angela reviewed Corps et Ames recently. I just don't like immortelle so have nothing to say about it either way. Didn't love BB — wanted it to be drier. Querelle is very cool but not entirely wearable, perhaps. HN I liked, and maybe need to try again.
Greasy honey sounds disgusting! And can see the furniture polish thing in Cadjmere. Aomassai takes longer than that to get perfect for me, but Musc Maori I find great fun. And HATE that website — but that is true of so many fragrance websites. Way too hard to find what you want to know.
Agree w/ strange but interesting!
Dawn, enjoy your bottle! I think your reaction is more common than mine.
Nez a Nez is unreal sweet. I only tried a few but then gave up — too candied for me.
You might give Cadjmere a try anyway. I think most people like it better than I do.
Just piping in here with another vote for Matale. I knew I loved it, but not quite how much until I'd worn it regularly for awhile– been one of those sleepers for me.
I am so w/ you on winter. Grew up mostly in the tropics and still adore the heat. Love the thought of four seasons and the visual beauty of winter, but think I would be more than satisfied w/ photographs and maybe a two day vacation in a cold area. I live to spend time outdoors, but am in literal pain in the cold. Love winter scents, though. Quite a few of the PGs work really well on me – enough so that I've felt compelled to fork over for several bottles, Querelle being the latest. I tried it and thought it was interesting back in the spring, but not FB or even decant worthy. However, after I saw it on several of the Top 10 lists, went to hunt out my sample again and was so bowled over I was practically tripping over myself to get to the net to order it. But Cadjmere was *disastrous* on me – a fatal mix w/ my skin chemistry. I'm going to have to revisit Un Crime Exotique. I remember thinking I wished he would put it out as a home scent.
Glad it has another fan! I really do adore it.
Yep — a few pictures and a week's vacation in New England every 5th year would do me just fine!
Can't say UCE doesn't smell like it ought to be a home scent. I just don't mind
I feel oddly comforted by your reply. Include me as another Matale fan — I thought it was a great combo of notes… wait, which do you like? Hyperessence or Rare? I also liked Harmatan Noir and Jardins de Kerylos a lot (fig!) as well as Querelle and even Iris Taizo… but somehow I've never needed more. Weird. Now that I've re-found them all (and some others) maybe I'll resniff and fall in love, Lord knows I desperately need another bottle of perfume.
Do you think I might like Exotique?
Aomassai makes me cringe every time I think of it! Just try scrubbing that sucker off. Sure, climb on in the boat!
Not sure about Exotique — not sure that in the abstract I would think I would like it! And I did not like Kerylos at all — too sweet for me. But then, Exotique is probably as sweet. Philosykos, you know, if it ain't like Philosykos I don't think the fig has been handled properly
And not sure about the Hyperessence. They sent me a sample, and decided it was longer lasting but I didn't like it as well, then later they told me it wasn't the final version. So…???
I'm new to posting here, but I do lurk quite a bit. I just wanted to give another shout out for Aomassai. The dry down brings back such warm and vivid memories of my childhood in Africa, and specifically of visiting curio and antique shops as a kid. When I read that it was inspired by South Africa and African art I was not at all surprised. I think PG was incredibly true to his vision/inspiration on this one. Love love love it.
I can't quite get past the cinnamon opening on Un Crime Exotique. I'll have to get it out and search for the gingerbread everyone else is talking about!
Hi and welcome! How nice to find a fragrance that calls up happy memories.
The cinnamon in UCE doesn't last nearly long enough for me. When I find a scent that starts like Red Hots and stays that way, I'll be happy! But if you don't like cinnamon, I can see how it could be too much.
I love cinnamon spicy fragrances (I recommend Serge Lutens Rousse , DSH Cimabue, and Ayala Moriel Finjan or her Epice Sauvage ) but I think the delicious gingerbread cookie smell of UCE would work better in a candle. Too gourmand to be wearable for me.
I can't believe you like UCE! Well, that's it, we are absolutely not EFTs anymore.
As you can see from the comments above, you're not alone!
We are not as reliably opposite as we used to be, it is true!